By Selphine Bosire
A month Ago Kenya Today covered a launch of an innovation that it predicted will disrupt the loyalty business in Kenya and Africa.True to its promise, our reporter has been following the trends and success stories of this technology that was going to change the landscape of how businesses operate and reward customers.
Only a month into the market, the CEO of Mzawadi Naftal Nyabuto is a happy man, in an exclusive interview we carried out at his offices, here are some of the excerpt s.
Q1 How has M-zawadi performed since its launch ?
We thank God and Kenyans for appreciating the local innovations and solutions.We have received overwhelming reception with different business eager to implement and roll out the solutions for their businesses .
Q2: What are some of the sectors of the industry that have had high reception of the solution?
Our solution targets different sectors from Hospitality, Online shops, Tour firms, Retail chains, Brands, Airlines, beauty and cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and any other person or company that is selling a product or service in Kenya. However, so far retailers, Hotels and restaurants and online shops have had the highest uptake.
Q3 : We have seen that you have been getting major partnerships from international companies, tell us more about it.
Our strategy is to take loyalty to the next level.We are a star-up that doesn’t have enough resources to walk alone.We have therefore partnered with Major companies that will integrate our product in order to give retailers value to their customers and reduce their costs of doing business. For example we have partnered with Bardo, an international company that provides payment gateway in kenya and in that partnership Mzawadi will be integrated to mPOS gadchet to allow customers who use card payment to earn loyalty at respective stores.We have also partnered with other international companies that will now enable our merchants/clients to allow their loyal customers redeem their points in over 4000 brands globally .
This is the first time in Kenya such capability is happening .This will reduce the loyalty liability due to unredeemed points and also provide customers extra value for their points. We have other partners like Silver Greens which is among the leading POS software vendors in Kenya who will now offer Mzawadi module on their loyalty platform for Hotels and restaurants.
Q4: What key benefits will Mzawadi offer businesses in Kenya?
Many, I must say.One key benefit is cost.For the first time in the country we have eliminated the cost of infrastructure needed to offer loyalty .Businesses nolonger need to purchase cards, printing and Card reader machines and overheads of administering such processes.Meaning with Mzawadi the start-up cost is ZERO .On the side of customers nolonger need to carry cards in their wallet but only need to have a phone thus creating convenience.
Another key benefit for businesses is Business Intelligence (BI) .We don’t just provide data we offer businesses intelligent tools that will allow even the smallest business in kenya to analyse their customers, communicate, interact and market to their clients through an elaborate database and decision making tools.As you will guess, such technology and BI is currently inaccessible to SMEs because of the cost such software cost but we are offering such a service as part of Mzawadi and can be accessed from mobile phone or web.
Q5: Tell us more about how the CARD companies are uneasy about this solution
You are right, Kenya is a mobile country, everything is in our phones, penetration rate of phones has clocked 90% meaning that every innovation has to offer mobile solutions and bring transactions to customers fingers.Card companies will suffer from such technology trends unless they also adapt and give kenyans an alternative .
Q6: We interviewed afew retailers about your solution and they gave great reviews.How have you been able to make them happy?
Ours is a business of making the few clients we have happy.We provide loyalty platform and try advising businesses how they can create loyalty.We have to first create loyal clients before our merchants trust us.We are aware of the cost of acquiring new customers , therefore we endeavour to make those who we have more happy.
Q7: Where is loyalty heading technologically?
Loyalty is moving from the traditional method of giving points to rewarding clients for every act of marketing your business.This involves checking into your store, sharing and liking your product in social media, reffering friends and favouriting your products .At the current business environment, customers have become very dynamic, they are more informed and have access to options, that has made it difficult for businesses to satisfy them.